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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty much a gunsmithing newbie. About all I have done is polishing the bolt face and ramp on my 1911 and rebuilding an AR-15, both very simple and straight forward.

I'd like to install an Optima 2000 sight on my old Kimber (marked Clackamas, OR) with fixed sights, but that darned sight won't budge when I hit it with a brass punch. I've removed the set screw in the top of the sight...

How do I proceed? I assume I need to apply heat, but I have never done that before. I do have a very small butane torch that I use for soldering, but I'll buy whatever tools I need.
 

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Hi Griz, welcome to the 1911 Forum, a tight sight like yours, I’d clamp it in the mill vise TIGHT, the slide must be held very tight, it must be held tight to deliver more shock to the sight, I use a heavy steel punch or brass, the steel will deliver more shock but will damage the slide if you miss, be careful, I like brass hammers because the delivers a deader blow and don’t bounce like steel, I guard the sight with a piece of .010 black plastic shim stock cut a little bit larger than the tip of the punch, you are going to have to give the sight a good hard rap to get it to move, some are so tight it get scary, but I never damaged one yet, for shim stock a piece of bleach bottle or milk jug should work OK but you may need a few pieces to move it, you may try the heat but heat the slide not the sight, you want the slide to expand not the sight, its like heating a nut to free it from a screw, if you heat the screw it expands and makes the nut tighter, don't give it to much heat, just enough that you don't discolor the slide, I never had to heat one yet, but almost, good luck, Pete Single

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Metal Smith

The only thing I know for sure is what I can measure!
NRA Life Member
 

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Griz, Some of the Kimber sights I swear were welded in place, and others come out fairly easily. Part of the problem is not having much to put your punch on, due to the slope of the sight. Make sure you have the punch directly alined with the dovetail when you hit it, and if that doesn't move it after a couple of good smacks, I'd take it to a smith. That way, if he hurts your slide, he's responsible. On rare occasions, I've had sights so tight I had to literally cut them out of the dovetail with the mill. Good luck,

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Don Williams www.theactionworks.com www.pickagripcom
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you very much for the advice fellows.

I grabbed a bigger hammer, a big steel punch and a piece of milk jug to protect the sight (even though I don't plan to use it again.) I gave it a few good wacks and it came right out. I just didn't have the balls to hit it that hard before
 
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